More than just facades

More than just facades

I am constantly surprised about the artwork you find along the bay. There is the wind walk in San Mateo, Bixbee Park with it’s posts in Palo Alto. But have you ever been to Alviso? Alviso, now part of San Jose, can be found at the southernmost point of the San Francisco Bay.

 

Alviso Marina County Park in San JoseThe Alviso Marina County Park stands out with it’s facade like structures framing the boardwalks that let you oversee the slough. Here you can take a breath of salty air, or look for some rare birds. Some boardwalks have benches, and it feels very peaceful. 

 

This park is also a gateway to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and is part of the San Francisco Bay Trail and San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail.

Play a game in the park

Play a game in the park

There are so many great parks around the Bay Area and they offer many possibilities for games. You could play bocce in Cuesta Park in Mountain View, or pickle ball in Mitchell Park in Palo Alto. I’m sure there a many places for chess and horseshoes.

Monopoly in the park in San JoseBut the most amazing, and might I add Guinness World Record Book worthy, is the Monopoly in the park. You can find this attraction across from the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose. To play it you will have to book it and pay the rental fee. But I’m sure everyone will have fun

Senet Game at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, San JoseAnother option, that is free, is to play a game of Senet, the Egyptian game that is said to be the model for backgammon. At the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose they have a great outdoor park with a Peace Garden, a Labyrinth and a Senet game.

Do you know of a great outdoor game?

Walk in the Egyptian

Walk in the Egyptian

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose has the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in the western North America. The entrance is framed by goats similar to the Avenue of the Sphinxes in Luxor.

Egyptian king When entering I had to adjust my eyes; the light was dim which gives it an eerie atmosphere. The exhibits are going off in four different directions on multiple levels and are organized by themes, (burial practices, gods and religion, kings and pharaohs, daily life, trade, and neighbors) rather than time periods, so you can pick your favorite direction.

A lot of school groups were there at the same time. This allowed me to listen in to some of the guidespresentations. I enjoyed the story of the senet game, which was so popular that no one bothered to write down the rules!

Tomb entrance at the Egyptian Museum in San JoseThe most spectacular exhibit is the replica of a tomb. Not necessarily wheelchair accessible, it guides you into an entrance room and further down a staircase into the tomb.

To keep the kids engaged they have a passport program in which they can collect stamps.

Have you walked like an Egyptian before?

I promise you two rose gardens

I promise you two rose gardens

At the Municipal Rose Garden in San Jose the smell is overwhelmingly luxurious.

Roses at the Municipal Rose Garden in San JoseNames like love song, white delight, jump for joy, sparkle & shine, passionate kisses speak to the traditional use of roses as a gift for the loved one.

Here you see a lot of people stopping and smelling the roses, taking pictures and wandering in awe. A perfect location for wedding photos.

 

Only 1.5 miles to the north, up Naglee Ave is San Jose’s Heritage Rose Garden. First I thought it odd to Roses at the Heritage Rose Garden in San Josehave two rose garden so close to each other. But the two could not be more different. There was no one else around when I explored the garden. So close to the street I thought the smell was fuel, but I only had to wait a few minutes to realize the the garden is on the flight path of San Jose airport and most likely the smell was kerosene. In between planes it is actually a quiet place and the amount of roses shows that the purpose of this garden is to preserve them. With almost 3,500 plants and 3,000 varieties from heritage to modern to miniature roses, this is an amazing experience. So, if you are a true rose aficionado this might be the place for you.

Where do you stop and smell the roses?

Stand up for science

Stand up for science

April 22nd 2017 is Earth Day and you can support your scientist by marching. Many of the marches end with an Earth Day celebration, or with activities for kids. A great way to introduce the importance of marching for democratic rights to your children.

Science not Silence, pin designed by  Penelope Dullaghan
Science not Silence pin designed by
Penelope Dullaghan

Like the Women’s March on January 21st, the March for Science’s biggest crowds are expected in Washington D.C. But there are eight satellite marches in the Bay Area where you can show your support:

 

San Francisco Start: Justin Herman Plaza, 11:00 AM; End: Civic Center Plaza

San Jose Start: San Jose City Hall, 11:00 AM; End: Plaza de Cesar Chavez

Santa Cruz Start: Santa Cruz City Hall, 10:00 AM; End: San Lorenzo Park

Pacifica Start: 2:30 PM, from Linda Mar Beach to Rockaway Beach and back

Walnut Creek Start: Civic Park, 10:00 AM

Livermore Start and End: Livermore High School; 1:00 PM

Hayward Start: Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center, 10:00 AM

Berkeley Start: Sproul Plaza, 4:00 PM

Here is a list of Earth Day events in the Bay Area:

http://www.bayareaearthday.org/bayareaearthdayevents/

 

Will you stand up for science?

Sí se puede

Sí se puede

It’s been now about a month that the former meeting place of Cesar Chavez and his followers was honored as a Historic National Landmark. Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission Chapel in San Jose, before it became know as McDonnell Hall, was essential for the San Jose United Farm Workers movement during the 1950s and 1960s. It supported local migrant workers with basic services and a space for organisational meetings.

McDonnell Hall, San JoseCesar Chavez was introduced to Father McDonnell in 1952. McDonnell was a big influence on Chavez and started educating him on nonviolence and social justice teaching using the examples of Gandhi and St. Francis.

When McDonnell opened his parish in East San Jose it was still known as Sal Si Puedes [or “Get Out If You Can”]. In 1972 Chavez and Dolores Huerta came up with the revised phrase: Sí se puede, which Obama used in his campaign as ‘Yes, we can!”

The city of San Jose’s memorial walk for Cesar Chavez from 2009 lists the McDonnell Hall, but also Chavez Family Home, 53 Scharff Ave., San Joseincludes other places such as Chavez house and school.

http://www.sanjoseca.gov/documentcenter/view/6813

 

Who is your favourite non-violent leader?

 

Related links:

Mercury News:

San Jose: Cesar Chavez meeting house now national landmark

United Farm Workers:

Father McDonnell introduced a young Cesar Chavez to social justice teachings

 

Learn from Executive Order history

Learn from Executive Order history

February 19th, also known as the Day of Remembrance, marks the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 which led to the forced incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese descent, two-thirds of whom were American citizens.

Shoes and bed of the living quarters in the Japanese American Museum in San JoseTo learn about the incarceration, the Japanese American Museum of San Jose put together an extensive exhibit, not only detailing the different camps, but also showing a rebuild of a living quarter of Tule Lake.

This museum presents the history of Japanese Americans from the gold rush to the resettlement. I was led through the exhibit by Abe, who was an excellent tour guide and very knowledgeable. For only $5 (seniors and students pay $3) this interesting museum about Japanese American history should be on everyone’s must-see-in-San-Jose list.

Will you remember?

Japanese American Museum of San Jose

535 N 5th St, San Jose, CA 95112
Opening hours are: Thursday through Sunday, 12 – 4 pm

February 19th, Day of Remembrance

5:30 p.m – 7:30 p.m
This year under the theme: Stand up to Hate
San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin
640 North Fifth Street
San Jose, CA  95112

Play piano in the park

Play piano in the park

I’m always on the lookout for some unexpected. A grand piano at the park, now that’s what I call unexpected!

For the third year the Santa Clara County Parks together with Sunset Piano and DC Pianos have released five pianos into five parks. They will reside in the parks until October 5th.

Piano at Vasona Lake

What a beautiful idea to combine the outdoors with music.

Here are the locations:

  • Vasona Lake by the boat rental area
  • Historic Casa Grande/New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum on the patio deck
  • Uvas Canyon near the waterfalls at the outdoor amphitheater
  • Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch’s Anglers picnic area
  • Joseph D. Grant near the historic Grant house and rose garden

 

Unfortunately I don’t play. And when I visited some of the pianos no one was playing, in fact they were covePiano at the Quicksilver Mining Museumred up.

If you are like me but you still want to experience the music head out to Vasona Lake on October 2, from 4 to 6 Sunset Piano will perform Classical, Jazz, and pop selections.

Or encourage your piano playing friends to come out.

Anyone up for picnic, park and piano?

Be a love detective for Beethoven

Be a love detective for Beethoven

Well I guess Beethoven knew who he was writing to in his letter to the immortal beloved.  

vote for the immortal belovedFor researchers and everyone else this is still a mystery. In the exhibit: Beethoven in Love,  from the Beethoven Center at San Jose University, you can educate yourself about all the people that played a significant role in Beethoven’s life. If you come to a conclusion about who was the immortal beloved you can also vote – voting booth and exhibit is open until December 17th, 2016.

 

But the Center for Beethoven also has the largest collection on Beethoven memorabilia and books outside of Germany. I admit I came for the hair, a lock that has been tested, and is currently undergoing DNA testing, to uncover more mysteries about Beethoven’s life.

Eric Herz 1977Our docent, Adriana was very knowledgeable about Beethoven and everything concerning him. We had a great time and as a special treat she also played on various instruments explaining the particularities about the instruments.

Do you have a favorite composer?

Discover the sound of joy

Discover the sound of joy

Can you remember the last time you were on a swing? The tickle you felt going up into the sky?

 

Now imagine a swing that makes a pleasant sound, different by how fast you go. But it gets even better, it’s a collaborative tool to show that you can make great music working together.

In San Jose, at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, a new installation provides exactly this experience.

Ten seats, four instruments (piano, harp, guitar and vibraphone) and fun for all ages:

http://www.musicalswings.com/

 

A project from Daily tous les jours, an interaction design studio bringing us collective experiences in public spaces. San Jose is the last stop in this traveling exhibit, ending October 2, 2016.

 

Mixed in with airplanes and construction noise, I felt happy.

 

Swing on by!

 

When was the last time you were on a swing?